July 21, 2021

Frozen dinner

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I was pretty impressed with my last visit to Man Ho Chinese Restaurant (萬豪金殿), and I do think that Chef Jayson Tang (鄧家濠) is doing some pretty interesting stuff, so I've been meaning to bring Sankala there. When the opportunity came to catch up with Winnie the Chew and the Zhongmeister, I figured this would be a good occasion to make that introduction.

I asked Jayson to help come up with a menu for us, although I did request one dish so that the Zhongmeister could try it. I was pretty happy to see that I would be trying plenty of new dishes.

Signature barbecued pork loin with honey sauce (萬豪貴妃叉燒) - this wasn't originally on our menu, but Jayson decided to send it as an extra dish... maybe because I enjoyed the Duroc pork collar so much last time. Tonight the texture was just like before - very tender and springy, with some gristle providing some crunch. This time, though, the flavors of the pork were particularly strong... and I can imagine that it is not to everyone's liking.  I would also have preferred a little more charring.

Steamed egg with lobster fillets in saffron sauce served with mullet roe (金影玉玲瓏) - I was wondering why our waiter started to put on gloves, because surely black truffle would not be a natural topping for this dish?! As it turns out, he ended up shaving bottarga instead, which helped to highlight the flavors. This has got to be the most surprising dish tonight, as the lobster was just exploding with intense flavors. I would have to think pretty hard to remember the last time a lobster dish impressed me so much.

Fresh fish soup with fish maw, clams and bean curd sheet (艇皇花膠鮮魚湯) - supposedly the signature soup here, the milky broth was made with fish bones and fish belly. Thankfully it wasn't fishy like the last soup I had here, and this was pretty nice with some fragrance from white pepper. The big piece of fish maw was pretty thick and certainly nice, and we've got manila clam and strips of tofu skin millefeuille. The surprise was the dried shrimp that, when rehydrated, was as big as a fresh shrimp, but with much more intense flavor.

Braised sea cucumber with preserved vegetable (欖菜婆參) - was this really sea cucumber?! I could have sworn it was a hunk of braised fatty pork belly, and with the preserved olive and shredded mustard leaves (欖菜) on top, it looked a lot like Hakka 梅菜扣肉.

This was very, very nice. Totally jiggly and fun to eat. The crispy veg and shredded chili on top added a small amount of contrasting texture.

I'd love to have this again.

Sautéed shredded eel with bean sprouts (鱔糊) - the Zhongmeister liked the eel from Vietnam, but he objected to the nomenclature. In his mind - and frankly, I have to agree with him - it should only be called 鱔糊 if the eel were finely shredded and served with a soupy sauce. What we got was, as Chef Jayson confessed - a cross between Cantonese and Shanghainese style. Having said that, we still enjoyed the thick, crunchy filets of eel.

Sautéed sliced pigeon with pickled young ginger and deep fried pigeon leg (子薑炒乳鴿甫伴紅燒鴿腿) - I had some trepidation before dinner regarding this dish, and I guess the sliced pigeon was decent and didn't fail. The young ginger made it a little more interesting.

The leg, though, was much more interesting. The intense flavors of Mei Kuei Lu (玫瑰露) made one wonder whether there was any preserved liver sausage (膶腸) stuffed into the leg, but there was none to be found.

Braised winter melon with Alaska crab meat in chicken stock (帝皇玉枕) - the big bloc of winter melon was stuffed with shredded crab meat, diced scallops, shredded bamboo pith, lotus seeds, and peas. With dried conpoy (干貝) shreds on top for added flavor and texture. Very nice.

Chilled avocado cream with premium bird’s nest (燕液牛油果露) - normally not a great fan of avocado, but this was pretty decent.

Deep-fried red bean pastry with mandarin peel (陳皮紅豆手袋酥) - hmmmm... now where have I seen this shape before...? Could it be at my favorite Cantonese restaurant across the water? In any case, this was a sweet version, and the aged mandarin peel made the filling pretty fragrant.

We were surprisingly tame in terms of wine consumption.

2007 Joh.Jos. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese - classic nose of petrol and polyurethane with white flowers. The palate was much sweeter than expected.

1970 La Lagune - served without decanting. Smoky, still got some cooked fruit, and leather notes. Some 30 minutes after opening a little brett showed up. Still decent, I guess, but past its prime.

2003 Yquem, en demi-bouteille - really floral, lots of orange blossom water, with honeydew melon.

Another happy meal. Perhaps not as stunning as last time, but there were still a few nice surprises. I'll definitely be coming back again for more. But what's with that aircon?! We were freezing the entire night!

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